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    Tuesday, 29 January 2019 20:33
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  • Belize Exports Soybean Oil To Jamaica

    Tuesday, 29 January 2019 20:56

Yesterday the government of Belize delivered the first half of the over half a billion dollar settlement for the nationalization of the Belize Telemedia Ltd, as set by the permanent court of arbitration. Information is that of the almost two hundred million dollars paid, one hundred and forty million dollars was paid in Belize currency and thirty-eight million dollars was paid in U.S. currency.

The entire nationalization of B.T.L. is an elaborate scheme, one which Opposition Leader John Briceño says is costing taxpayers over $500 million for a company that is worth far less than what is being reported by the Prime Minister, something that will untimely bring about more hardships to the Belizean people.

Screen_Shot_2016-07-14_at_7.56.40_PMHonorable John Briceno – Opposition Leader People’s United Party

“Here we are spending 557 million dollars on a company that is worth only 100 million dollars and that is not our valuation that is the Mira valuator, the same company that the Prime Minister and the UDP hired to put a value on BTL and here we are seven years later paying 557 million dollars, that is more than half a billion dollars and we need to remember that last year we made a payment of about 165 million dollars already to Mr. Ashcroft and that is now that this time around I think that about 198 million or something around that that we paid yesterday it is going to be very difficult for us in Belize because whenever you go the UDP government and ask them that we need some assistance in Orange Walk Central, we need to fix the streets, or anybody or any community would go and ask they would tell you that they have no money, I know for a fact that the Minister of Finance, the Prime Minister and the UDP Cabinet has sent out a directive to all government departments they can’t be hiring more people, they have to cut on their expenses because they are running short of money and it is going to create more hardships on our people and as our economy starts to slow down and then the government is sucking all the monies from the system or the liquidity as someone say we are heading for bigger problems in the near future.”

Briceno also brought up the 7 years of litigation in the case for the appropriation which according to him was completely unnecessary, a mistake that will cost Belizeans approximately two hundred million dollars in interest alone.

Honorable John Briceno – Opposition Leader People’s United Party

“We had court cases in the Caribbean, in Trinidad certainly here in Belize, we had arbitration in Costa Rica, in London, In Miami so with this they were all over the world with these cases and because he refused to settle in 2009 it is costing us 198 million dollars in interest alone because of the hard headedness and the arrogance of the Prime Minister and this UDP government, let’s remember it is not only the UDP government but also the Prime Minister and all the UDP Ministers are just as responsible and accountable to what has happened because they could have told the Prime Minister that he needs to back off and to settle and they didn’t until September of 2015, because of that decision or their behavior or their arrogance the UDP government is costing us the Belizean people 557 million dollars for a company that it is worth 100 million plus interest because the half that was paid we still owe another 198 million dollars and we have to pay 8.3% interest on that balance next year.”

And according to the Leader of the Opposition, although the first payment has been made to the previous owners of BTL, our problem is far from being over as there is apparently a difference of opinion between GOB and the Ashcroft Alliance over the sum to be paid in US dollars.

Honorable John Briceno – Opposition Leader People’s United Party

“Certainly it is not over and this is because the Prime Minister went on his own and made this agreement without making proper advise, when you read the Barrow accommodation agreement or the arbitration settlement on BTL what they say is that the amount value for the accommodation agreement will be in Belize dollars because that will be put in a deposit here but the rest doesn’t speak that it is going to be in Belize dollars so all the interest payments and everything that is owed needs to be paid in US dollars according to Mr. Ashcroft now the Prime Minister is saying differently unfortunately we are going to be dragged  to court gain and we are going to spend a lot of money that we won’t be able to afford to be able to fight this when I feel that the Prime and he should learn what is loses and try to find the best way to get out of a very, very bad situation.”

In the end Opposition Leader reiterated his party’s position in stating that Belize’s economy is in shambles and the Belizean people will suffer the repercussions of the misjudgment made by the UDP administration.  

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